12 November 2010

Tasting notes: Shiner 101

I went to help set up a Guy Fawkes bonfire party last Saturday.  In exchange for helping to set up the beer taps, I was told to help myself to some beer.  This is a party that usually has beer that you won't normally see in Maryland, a mix of homebrew and "pirated" beer from elsewhere.  (The largest keg was Nut Brown Ale from District Chophouse in DC, for example.)

Okay, where are the pilsner glasses?  I know I have at least one.........  ah, here..... though it is a Clipper City 10th Anniversary Glass.......  gotta save this for Dec. 8th.......

One bottle I got away with was a bottle of Spoetzl Brewery's Shiner 101, a Czech-style pilsner according to the label.  I've no idea if this is available locally.  I don't normally check out German styles myself; I seemed to get my fill of them from Baltimore Brewing Co. when they were open and producing well, and also got lots of indoctrination from a late friend from Wilmington, Del. who was a regular visitor to Germany's opera houses and bars.

Shiner 101 pours bright, a rich yellow, a hair darker than the typical North American Industrial Lager.  Good head retention, lace on the glass.  Hop nose restrained a bit--present but subdued.  Flashes of BBC's Pils come back to me.  A bit drier and more restrained in character than my memories of BBC Pils, though.  Extremely no-nonsense, obviously designed to wean Texas drinkers away from Bud/Miller/Coors with a somewhat richer body but very mellow flavors.  It lives up to the collegiate implications of its name: an introduction to the world of beers beyond industrial, pedestrian lagers.

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